Reel Talk 6.3.13

Katrina Hargrave asks: “A simplified definition of a world view is a collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group. Since films are made by individuals and/or groups, for individuals and/or groups and are often about them, it stands to reason that within films one can find the expression of a world view or a particular set of world views (be it the writer’s, director’s, or character’s). What particular beliefs about life and the universe can you find articulated in your favorite films or films you’ve watched lately? Are there any two that have the same theme but express different beliefs? What films have you found to express a similar or dissimilar world view from your own and why?”

Curator Biography

Katrina Hargrave is a student at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her interest lies in cinematic storytelling and the creation of “image systems.” She’s currently obsessed with Korean films and loves anything by Studio Ghibli.

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One Response to Reel Talk 6.3.13

  1. admin says:

    I am sure there are many more current films out there that would satisfy this question. But I am continually struck by — and find myself often returning to — the “world view” espoused by Cary Grant’s character in HOLIDAY (1938). Johnny Case (Grant) has worked all his life and, while on vacation, falls hard for a wealthy NYC banker’s daughter, Julia. Upon his return to NYC to woo Julia’s family (he doesn’t realize at first that she is from the upper crust), Case learns that he has managed to make a tidy profit, playing the stock market. As a result, he wants to go on holiday: basically, retire and enjoy his life and see the world while he is young and unencumbered (and return to work later on, if needs be). Julia wants to live the life she has grown accustomed to, and wants Johnny to want that, too. The idea that Case wants to stop making money, after being so successful at it, horrifies Julia and her father (Case’s friend, Nick Potter, wisecracks notably: “My father made me promise to quit after my first million.”). So they try to entangle Case in their lifestyle: Julia’s father will give Case a job in his banking firm, set Case and Julia up with a house and servants, and send them on a world tour honeymoon, complete with business meetings so Case can get to know the ins and outs of international finance. Case nearly complies, agreeing to a trial basis after Julia gives him an ultimatum (try it my way or else!), until he realizes that with all those burdens at the outset (house, servants, etc,), he will be trapped and never get out in the likely event that he decides he doesn’t like it. So, instead, he throws Julia over for her sister Linda (a radiant Katharine Hepburn), who shares Case’s views, and they run off to Europe with their socialist pals, doing backflops all the way there. I try always to remember Johnny’s approach to life — best not to dig yourself in too deep, lest you not be nimble enough to change what isn’t working in your life.